Weather: During the day, temperatures are between 80-90F/26-32C and it is usually nice and sunny, but very humid. Rain isn’t very common during this time of the year, but a rain jacket is never a bad idea. At night, temperatures might drop a little, around 70-80s F/ 20 to 26C– this might be cold for some people so make sure to bring warm layers so you can stay warm.
Cultural Norms To Be Aware Of: In the big cities and urban areas, Australia is very similar to the United States. When you are visiting Aboriginal Australian communities it is important to dress in a more conservative way. Keeping this in mind, you should pack longer shorts and some shirts that cover your shoulders.
Luggage Restrictions: One checked luggage up to 20kg or 44 pounds. Excess luggage fees are expensive! Make sure you pack light.
Laundry: For the Outback program, students can pay to do their own washing at a laundromat at some of the accommodation sites if required. Approx $10 per load to wash and dry. This can be done at the beginning and towards the end of the program. For the SIWRP students have access to a laundry machine at all times. That being said, the use of it might be restricted to a couple of times during the program to conserve the water supply.
A school backpack or something of similar size is ideal for a carry on. You can pack everything you need for your travels in it, and then use it as a day back on the program. Two water bottles! It’s hot and humid up there and you need to stay hydrated.
Pro Tip: Put money and other valuables in a secure place that is not easily accessible.
This are very rustic programs. A traveler’s backpack or duffle is ideal luggage. When you don’t have to carry your luggage, you tend to bring a long of things you don’t need, so if possible leave the rolling suitcases at home. Also, there is little flat terrain outside of the airport so your rolling bag won’t be that useful on the program.
Bring your socks and underwear–enough for two weeks. We didn’t include a picture because you know what your underwear looks like.
Sneakers for service, flip flops or “thongs” as we call them in Australia, for walking around town and the camp sites, and hiking boots/shoes for…well, hiking. If you don’t have hiking boots/shoes or don’t want to bring them, no problem; make sure the sneakers you bring are sturdy and won’t fall apart after a few trips up a mountain. Also, everything will get dirty, leave brand new things at home.
(Photo need: light rain jacket, hat, sunglasses)
A packable rain jacket like this one is key. Look for the ones that pack into a built-in pocket. A hat and sunnies! Sun can be very powerful in the Land Down Under and sun protection is essential.
It will be sunny most of the time while you are in Australia but if you get cold easily make sure you bring a warm sweater (jumper) or a hoodie just in case it gets chilly at night. These programs involve a bit of hiking and physical activity, t-shirts with breathable fabrics will help you staying fresh, plus they dry quicker!
Hiking or traveling pants/shorts are great for the Australian bush, full length pants that can turn into shorts are ideal. Jeans are good for going out to eat on the last night, but you won’t be using them much, it’s too hot! Bring some shorts and bathing suits as well, there will be plenty of opportunities to jump in the water.
These are most of the essentials, but check the packing list for items not included. Bring travel-sized products; you just need enough to get you through two weeks, not two months. You will be visiting natural reserves and it would be awesome if your products are friendly with the environment!
Pro tip: Pack toiletries in resealable bags or a lined toiletry bags to prevent drama in case something leaks. Also, all experienced travelers come with a pair of ear plugs. DON’T FORGET YOUR MEDICATION.
This gear is essential for your program, don’t forget it! For your sleeping bag, pack it into a stuff sack which will make traveling with it infinitely easier, and then stuff it into your bag or attach it to your carry-on. Make sure it’s not a sleeping bag for super cold weather. Quick dry or microfiber towels are the best and they don’t take that much space either! Keep in mind that you will have limited access to electricity during the program, specially when you’re camping.Bring a pair of work gloves for service, they will protect your hands when you’re in the middle of the action!
A FEW MORE PACKING TIPS:
- Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
- Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
- Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
- Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
- Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.